TIFF and Venice titles

Source: TIFF / Venice Film Festival

‘Blue Jean’; ‘The Wonder’; ‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’; ‘Argentina, 1985’

Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) concluded this weekend after returning as a fully physical event for the first time since 2019. It followed the Venice Film Festival, which awarded its top prize to Laura Poitras’ All The Beauty And The Bloodshed

The two events focused minds on this year’s awards race, and Screen’s critics have picked out the titles to watch this year, including major Oscar and Bafta contenders, and smaller arthouse gems.

Compiled by Fionnuala Halligan

Awards contenders 

All The Beauty And The Bloodshed

Dir.  Laura Poitras 
Our critic said:  “One of the more satisfying and provocative artist portraits of recent years.”
Read our review

The Banshees Of Inisherin

Dir.  Martin McDonagh
Our critic said: 
“McDonagh’s deliciously rhythmic comic dialogue, should give viewers a very good time – but may send them out shivering.”
Read our review

Empire Of Light

Dir.  Sam Mendes
Our critic said:  “Its message of love, tolerance and finding family wherever you can should make an impact in darkened rooms wherever it plays.”
Read our review

The Fabelmans

Dir.  Steven Spielberg 
Our critic said:  “A potent memory piece guided by remarkable performances from Michelle Williams and Paul Dano.”
Read our review

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Dir.  Rian Johnson
Our critic said:  “An immensely enjoyable movie which is at least as funny as the first outing, if not more.”
Read our review

The Good Nurse

Dir.  Tobias Lindholm
Our critic said:  “This superbly acted thriller – Jessica Chastain and Eddie Redmayne both shine – is every bit as textured and knotty as Lindholm’s previous work.”
Read our review

The Inspection

Dir.  Elegance Bratton
Our critic said:  “Bratton’s depth of feeling elevates the material, suggesting that, for the filmmaker, there’s something intensely cathartic and therapeutic in this retelling.”
Read our review

The Lost King_Dir Stephen Frears

Source: Warner Bros / Pathe

‘The Lost King’

The Lost King

Dir.  Stephen Frears
Our critic said:  “A warm, wryly amusing account of a real-life story, a crowd-pleasing portrait of the kind of enthusiastic amateur who proves enduringly popular with British cinema.”
Read our review

The Menu

Dir.  Mark Mylod
Our critic said:  “A bracingly spiteful and very funny picture.”
Read our review


Dir.  Andrea Pallaoro 
Our critic said:  “Trace Lysette’s lived experience as a trans woman, which mirrors that of her character, helps the actor deliver a powerful, internalised performance, flashing slivers of spirit amid the hurt and reticence and endless resilience.”
Read our review

The Swimmers

Dir.  Sally El Hosaini
Our critic said:  “Its impact comes not only from the real-life events it’s depicting, but also the way in which it frames this now-familiar tale.”
Read our review


Dir.  Todd Field
Our critic said:  “That rare film about a creative person that feels neither self-pitying nor self-aggrandising.”
Read our review

The Whale

Dir.  Darren Aronofsky
Our critic said:  “Brendan Fraser is courageous and fully committed in his first major leading feature film role for around a decade.”
Read our review

The Woman King

Dir.  Gina Prince-Bythewood
Our critic said:   “A cathartic release that’s sometimes overwhelmingly affecting.”
Read our review

Women Talking

Dir.  Sarah Polley
Our critic said:  “Examining faith and the patriarchy with quiet eloquence, this drama provides an acting showcase for a suite of superb performers headlined by Rooney Mara, Claire Foy and Jessie Buckley.”
Read our review

The Wonder

Dir.  Sebastian Lelio
Our critic said:  “Florence Pugh delivers a performance that’s as gripping as anything she’s put on screen.”
Read our review

Smaller titles that could make a mark


Source: Srab Films Arte France Cinema 2022

‘Saint Omer’

All Quiet On The Western Front

Dir.  Edward Berger 
Our critic said:  “It’s a rewarding, if deeply upsetting and at times overwhelming, theatrical experience.”
Read our review

Argentina, 1985

Dir.  Santiago Mitre
Our critic said:  “You could take any Hollywood courtroom drama and stand Argentina, 1985  beside it. You could also look at the nine generals in the dock and see some relevance in your own country, wherever it may be.”
Read our review

Blue Jean

Dir.  Georgia Oakley
Our critic said:  “It’s a remarkably accomplished picture on every level, not least the keenly felt and fiercely authentic performances.”
Read our review


Dir.  Clement Virgo
Our critic said: ”What’s particularly striking is just how elegantly the film’s three main timelines are woven together.”
Read our review


Dir.  Isabella Carbonell
Our critic said:  “A tightly focused, pulsing tale of conscience and conflict.”
Read our review


Dir.  Frances O’Connor
Our critic said:  “Emma Mackey’s thoughtful, understated performance matches a film that teases out the flesh-and-blood emotions from the stuff of gothic romance.”
Read our review

The Happiest Man In The World

Source: Pyramide International

The Happiest Man In The World

The Happiest Man In The World

Dir.  Teona Strugar Mitevska
Our critic said:  “Unity of time and location gives the film something of a theatrical feel, but in the very best sense.”
Read our review

The Maiden

Dir.  Graham Foy
Our critic  said:  “A film that knows what it’s doing – and surprises us at those moments when it reveals its larger design.”
Read our review

The Origin Of Evil

Dir.  Sebastien Marnier
Our critic said:  “Marnier’s agile screenplay takes us beyond surface appearances to reveal the hidden agendas at play.”
Read our review


Dir.  Roberto De Paolis
Our critic said:  “One of the pleasures of the film is seeing actor and street-cast first-timer adjusting to each other’s performances as well as each other’s characters.”
Read our review

Saint Omer

Dir.  Alice Diop
Our critic said: ”It’s a film which is driven by two interesting, unexpected performances.”
Read our review